There’s quite a lot going on back home and we wanted to make sure you have all the info!
Special Elections - happening this month!
If you haven’t heard of what is now a trend, the GOP is facing formidable challenges in States they thought locked up - namely Kansas and Montana where fellow Dems were very close to winning these deep red states.
While this bodes well for us, we want to make sure you know all about what’s on for the immediate future. You can find a full list of the Special Elections in 2017 here.
Specifically, up this month is:
20 June - Georgia Special Election Runoff Democrat Jon Ossoff is running for the 6th Congressional District
Please do refer to the full list of 2017 Special Elections to make sure you meet the voting Deadlines!
Residency-Based Taxation Campaign - Call Storm on 15th June!
Have a read through the main RBT Democrats Abroad post as contains information as to what the campaign is and why it matters to all citizens living abroad. Also see the Residency Based Taxation Campaign in a Box pdf for details. There is also a Facebook event here.
Democrats Abroad is having an international Call Storm on 15th June - the tax deadline for international filers - where you can pick up the phone to your Representatives and Senators to ask for their support for Residency Based Taxation.
Thursday 15 June is of course US time and inconvenient for us. That 9 to 5 day translates to 11:00pm Thursday, 15th June to 7:00am Friday, 16th June (AEST: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart time).
If you can make any calls - late or early during the above times, Call Storms only work if a massive number of calls are generated, literally disrupting the day. We need your help to storm Capitol Hill on June 15th.
Look for an inexpensive or free calling utility and starting calling home today!
Find the .pdf of this report here: https://www.scribd.com/document/349550222/Survey-Report
This the official Democrats Abroad Australia Survey Results as promised by the Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary - part of the new Executive Committee for DAA 2017-2019. This report will offer a basic interpretation of the results with intention to utilise the responses to form the 2 Year Plan for Democrats Abroad Australia at a time when great organising and planning is direly needed.
We thank everyone who took time to respond to this very important survey as this will indeed determine our path forward, united, in pushing for change to the state of politics in the Party and USA.
Basics (Page 1/4)
Total Responses: 196 (excluding duplicates)
Approx percent of membership: 6 %
Survey Responses by State
99.9 % (accurate to 0.1)
Conclusion & Explanation
The goal was for 200 unique respondents. Ideally wanted 10% membership response (~300). State breakdown was largely as expected per membership numbers, noting that the numbers may not be wholly accurate as they are self identified, and represent a proportionate representation of members per State.
Preferred Method of Communication
Will continue to utilise e-mail for:
- All member-relevant information (routine updates) - we're aware of bombarding people with information and leading to over-saturation.
- Important matters (this survey, DA International elections, State Chapter elections).
- Any urgent matters deemed so by ExCom or Member input.
- State-level organising, meet-ups, actions will be distributed through this channel respective to State/Local Chapter.
- As nearly everyone selected this, all formal DAA matters will be sent through this channel.
Social networks formed the second category, albeit a far-second. The percentage of respondents is proportional to the members currently on/engaged with social networks/media platforms. The Leadership recognises that social media channels can best be used for urgent actions, sharing information and those who want to engage with social media outreach.
We will use social networks for:
- Organising & logistics for publicised events, actions, activities, meet-ups
- Sharing of non-crucial information (concerning Democrats Abroad/Australia)
- Information sharing between teams, individuals
Those who are not engaged with social networks and desire to be active are encouraged to join the State Facebook Closed Group (search for group in Facebook and send a request to admin of group), Slack (send email to email@example.com for invite)
In-Person and Text Message were a virtual tie for third and utilised for quite different purposes.
Personal meet-ups should be used whenever possible and to extent of what members prefer. Obviously organised at State level for Capital City/Regional meet-ups aside from AGM.
In-Person (aside from obvious personal connection):
- In-depth planning and action
- Social events, actions, protests
- Organising where possible given membership location
Text-Messages are more tricky, and we will utilise when we can. Obviously good for reminders and driving specific tasks/goals but challenging to send mass blasts due to technological limitations. This will mostly be used on a local level.
Virtual Meetings was last and will be used for connecting regional members and when local members can’t attend the in-person meeting.
Larger Picture (page 2/4)
What are the four most urgent National Issues for the USA? (limited to 4)
- Affordable of Universal Healthcare (77.5%)
- Global Climate Change (61.8%)
- Income Inequality/Raising the Minimum Wage (46.6%)
- Domestic Gun Violence (44.6%)
- Corporate & Special Interest Money in Politics (39.7%)
This was asked to gauge where everyone is at, what they are feeling should indeed be the direction of the Party as a whole. It was also asked so that the Priorities that inform the 2-Year Plan will indeed be member-driven and not just the assumptions of the elected leaders. Our goal for DAA is to ensure that advocacy will largely focused (yet certainly not restricted to) these issues. It’s noted that in the comments, the majority of write-in responses were “all of them” (or an equivalent phrase). We will be prioritising turning out to vote to special, State and Federal elections and these issues to drive DAA forward.
Is the Democratic Party in need of a transformation?
Given the result of 2016 and the divide within the party, this was a necessary question. 1 was “no, not at all” and 10 was “yes, totally and completely”. Taking the straight average, the result is just under 8 with highest respondents being in categories 8 and 10 (tie). In fact, 64.2% said that the Democratic party was in need of a total transformation (ranked 7 or higher). It is obvious that DAA members believe the party is in need of change.
How we'll do it - your involvement
Excitingly, although only 35 people said they were currently involved in your local chapter, 153 people have said they want to be more involved. And, nearly every respondent saying they’d be willing to take part in activities including social media actions, calling politicians, turning out the vote and other activities.
If you’ve volunteered to take part in actions and activities, we’ll be passing along your information to your local Chapters, and we’ll be in touch soon!
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